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How to Ensure that your Teen Driver Learns the Principles of Safe Driving

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If your teenager is now eligible to apply for a provisional licence, it’s natural that you would have mixed emotions about this major milestone. Parents should feel excited to see their children growing up and getting prepared to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. But it’s not uncommon to feel worried that their teens will not view driver safety with the seriousness it deserves. Make clear to your teen that the privilege of driving demands adhering to safe driving principles. Here are ways to drive that point home.

Set a Good Example

It may seem that teenagers are always ready to start an argument or rebel against their parents’ wishes, but they still look to their mum and dad for cues about how to “adult” properly. You have an excellent opportunity to set a good example every time your teen is a passenger in your car.

Let your teen see how careful you are about maintaining distance between cars, the proper way to use mirrors, how you always use your turn signals, and that you drive at or below the speed limit. Most important, do not use your mobile phone while driving, even if you have the option to for hands-free use. Emphasize that any distraction from driving could quickly lead to an accident.

Explain that Driving Has Both Benefits and Risks

You may be tempted to focus only on the risks of driving because that is what most concerns you. But this kind of one-sided discussion could backfire if it appears you’re just trying to lecture your teen. Teenagers may get the impression that you don’t trust them or lack confidence in their abilities.

The better way to frame your conversations is to first bring up the benefits of driving and the freedoms that privilege entails. Emphasize that you’re so proud of them for learning what all drivers need to know to keep themselves and other drivers safe. But also stress that all drivers must practice responsible driving if they wish to hold on to their licence. By referring to all drivers, it will look less like an admonishment and more like a plain fact about privilege and responsibility.

Enroll Your Teen in a Reputable Driver’s Education Course

The material presented in any good driver’s education course will include:

  • A comprehensive overview of the current road rules, including when to give the right of way to pedestrians
  • Instructions for how to perform specific actions while driving (such as how to switch lanes, use a parking brake, and master skills like parallel parking)
  • How to navigate hazardous road conditions
  • Proper ways to handle an emergency

Besides learning what’s necessary to pass the driving theory test, student drivers typically spend between 45-50 hours learning how to drive and around 22 hours practicing. A certified driving instructor will hold either a green or a pink licence. The green licence indicates that the instructor has passed all of the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) exams. While instructors who hold the pink license have not yet passed all three of the exams, they are still considered qualified to teach, as they are currently in training and simply have fewer hours of teaching experience.

Prior to 2015, practicing student drivers were not allowed on the motorways, but now it’s permitted. It’s beneficial to learn how driving on motorways is different from driving on other kinds of roadways, so it’s an advantage to new drivers that the law was passed.

Safe Driving Means More Than Just Passing Tests

Teens are in school full-time and have probably developed specific strategies for taking tests. If those strategies involve cramming the night before and memorizing a list of facts, they may pass, but are they really in full-possession of the knowledge required for safe driving?

You could probably easily convince your teen that they should not study for a calculus exam the same way they study for the driving theory test. Teens may not ever need to use calculus in the real world, but they will certainly be tested every time they get behind the wheel. The results of that test could have enormous life-or-death consequences. Teens must see the value in really understanding driving rules and recognize that only practice will help them become safe drivers.

Make Sure Your Teen Has Access to Up-To-Date Study Resources

Years ago, the only way to learn how to drive was to sign up for classroom instruction. The teacher would lecture and deliver the lessons about road rules and safe driving practices and then venture out on the road with the student to practice driving skills.

Classroom driver’s ed instruction can be valuable if the teacher is experienced in teaching the subject and can interact one-on-one with the students during class. But that’s not often the case. Classrooms may be crowded and distracting for students, the sessions may be held at inconvenient times, and the material itself may be dry and boring.

Today, students have the opportunity to study for their driving theory exam using a mobile app. These app courses are generally less expensive than classroom instruction, and offer a more personalized approach to learning the material. They allow students to learn at their own pace and highlight the areas where students need to pay more attention to the lesson.

Mobile driver’s education courses are also more fun and entertaining than what is offered in the classroom. The driver’s education app from Zutobi is built like a game, and students can earn points and badges to indicate their progress. They can also compete with their friends, which adds another level of motivation for learning. This gamified approach works to make students more engaged in the learning process. While they’re having fun, they’re also discovering the correct ways to use traffic signals, how to respond when they see less common road signs, and the tips they’ll need to pass the practical driving test.

Ensure Your Teen Has Enough Time To Learn and Absorb the Material

Sure, you are excited about your teen finally earning a licence, but there’s a high probability your new student driver feels the excitement tenfold! Because the DVSA issues only guidelines – not mandates – for how long it should take to learn to drive, teens are often anxious to hit the road directly after they have their licence in hand.

Take control of the process early on by getting involved in finding the best method for learning the material. You can apply for a provisional driving licence a few months before your teen turns sixteen, and encourage study even before that birthday.

When looking for a driving instructor, ask other parents for recommendations. Make sure the lessons fit into your teen’s schedule so that he or she will not feel rushed while practicing. It may also be helpful to plan practice driving “appointments” on a calendar so that you are certain your teen will have as much driving experience as possible before taking the driving test.

You’ve Got This!

You may be nervous of the day your teen gets a provisional licence and starts driving, but there is plenty you can do to prepare. Find the type of course that will best engage your teen, set a good example, be firm about following rules, and insist on an adequate number of practice hours. Taking these steps will help reduce your anxiety and make it easier for you to hand over the keys.

Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver's education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.

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Unpacking the Science of Growth Hormone Stacks

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Growth hormones, or somatotropin, are vital hormones produced by the pituitary gland that regulate growth and development in the body. They stimulate bone, muscle, and organ growth, while also influencing metabolism and body composition.

In this article, we will explore the science behind growth hormone stacks, their purpose in bodybuilding and fitness, scientific principles, benefits and risks, safe usage guidelines, legal and ethical considerations. Our goal is to empower readers to make informed decisions about growth hormone stack usage.

Understanding Growth Hormone Stacks

Growth hormone stacks refer to combinations of various compounds that are used together to enhance the effects of growth hormones in the body. These stacks typically include growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs), growth hormone secretagogues, and other complementary substances. The purpose of growth hormone stacks is to optimize the natural production and release of growth hormones, leading to amplified results.

Growth hormone stacks are widely used in the bodybuilding and fitness community to accelerate muscle growth, improve athletic performance, and aid in fat loss. By combining different compounds that work synergistically, growth hormone stacks offer a comprehensive approach to maximizing the benefits of growth hormones.

Common components found in growth hormone stacks include growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs) such as GHRP-2 and GHRP-6, growth hormone secretagogues like Ipamorelin, and other substances that support hormonal balance and muscle growth, such as testosterone boosters, amino acids, and anabolic steroids.

The Science Behind Growth Hormone Stacks

Growth hormone stacks work by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce and release more growth hormones. This can be achieved through the use of GHRPs and growth hormone secretagogues, which act as agonists to specific receptors in the body, triggering the release of growth hormones. These compounds also help regulate the feedback mechanisms that control the production and release of growth hormones.

Growth hormone stacks have been shown to have a profound impact on muscle growth and fat loss. They increase protein synthesis, which promotes muscle hypertrophy, and enhance the utilization of fat for energy, leading to a reduction in body fat percentage. Additionally, growth hormone stacks can improve recovery, increase energy levels, and enhance overall physical performance.

Numerous scientific studies have explored the effects of growth hormone stacks on muscle growth and fat loss. These studies have consistently demonstrated the positive impact of growth hormone stacks on these parameters, showcasing their potential as effective tools for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. However, it is important to note that the use of growth hormone stacks should be approached with caution and under professional supervision.

The Pros and Cons of Using Growth Hormone Stacks

The benefits of using growth hormone stacks are significant. They include accelerated muscle growth, increased strength and endurance, enhanced fat loss, improved recovery and healing, and overall improvement in body composition. Growth hormone stacks can also boost collagen synthesis, leading to improved skin elasticity and joint health.

One popular product in the market for growth hormone stacks is Crazybulk. Crazybulk offers a range of legal and safe alternatives to anabolic steroids, designed to mimic the effects of traditional steroids without the associated risks and side effects.

Reviews and testimonials from users are an essential factor to consider when choosing such products. For instance, if you read CrazyBulk Reviews, they indicate the effectiveness and quality of the product, therefore providing valuable insights for potential consumers.

While growth hormone stacks offer numerous benefits, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and side effects. Improper use, excessive dosages, or prolonged use can lead to adverse effects such as acromegaly (excessive growth of facial and body tissues), insulin resistance, fluid retention, joint pain, and cardiovascular complications. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any growth hormone stack regimen to minimize these risks.

Safe and Effective Use of Growth Hormone Stacks

For safe and effective usage of growth hormone stacks, follow these guidelines. Consult a specialized healthcare professional to assess your needs, provide personalized recommendations, and monitor progress. Adhere to recommended dosages, cycle lengths, and frequency. Regular health check-ups and blood work help monitor adverse effects.

A well-balanced diet is essential when using growth hormone stacks. Include sufficient protein, carbs, and healthy fats to support muscle growth and recovery. Regular exercise, especially resistance training, maximizes the benefits. Adequate sleep, stress management, and hydration contribute to overall health and optimize growth hormone effects.

Seek advice from fitness professionals with expertise in growth hormone stacks. They guide you in selecting suitable stacks, adjust dosages, and provide insights for optimal health and wellness. Their knowledge ensures safe and effective usage.

Legal and Ethical Considerations of Growth Hormone Stacks

The legal status of growth hormone stacks varies from region to region. In some countries, growth hormone stacks are considered controlled substances and require a prescription. It is essential to understand the legal implications and regulations regarding growth hormone stack usage in your specific location.

In competitive sports, the use of growth hormone stacks is often prohibited due to the potential unfair advantage they may confer. Athletes should adhere to the regulations set forth by the respective governing bodies to ensure fair play and maintain the integrity of the sport.

While there are legal and ethical considerations surrounding growth hormone stacks, it is important to advocate for fair and responsible use. Education and awareness about safe usage protocols, as well as open discussions about the potential benefits and risks, can contribute to a more informed approach to growth hormone stack usage.

Key Takeaways

Understanding the science of growth hormone stacks is essential for those interested in maximizing their fitness and bodybuilding efforts. By comprehending the mechanisms, potential benefits, and risks associated with growth hormone stacks, individuals can make informed decisions about their usage.

It is crucial to prioritize safety, consult with professionals, and adhere to legal and ethical guidelines. With the right knowledge and responsible approach, growth hormone stacks can be a valuable tool in achieving fitness and performance goals.

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Scientists remain vigilant for new Covid-19 variants while improving the ability to predict complications

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Regular life may have resumed for most people, but the pandemic rumbles on as researchers keep a watch on new variants and increase efforts to better identify patients at risk.

By  VITTORIA D’ALESSIO

Everyone, it seems, is more than ready to move on from Covid-19, but virus experts say it’s still too early for us to lower our guard.

That’s because the pandemic, they insist, is far from over. Indeed, in a typical week, 180 000 new cases are still being reported across Europe. So, while regular life has resumed for most of us – and the World Health Organization has dropped the status of Covid-19 as a ‘global emergency’ (the highest level of alert) – scientists remain vigilant.

‘We might have good control over the pandemic – and the vaccine has played a major role in achieving this – but the virus continues to persist, and the situation is still very dynamic,’ said Professor Giuseppe Pantaleo, head of Immunology and Allergy at the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute.

The virus causing Covid-19 is an artful opportunist, endlessly evolving to evade our defences – and with each significant mutation comes the threat of a new wave of infection. According to Pantaleo, a time is likely to come when our current defences – whether built up through infection or acquired by vaccination – will no longer effectively counter the virus. Complacency could be a costly mistake.

‘It’s critical for us to keep monitoring populations for new variants,’ said Pantaleo. ‘We need to know the impact each mutation has on the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments so we can be prepared for what is coming next and put in place new measures to control the spread.’

Active surveillance

Pantaleo coordinates CoVICIS, a three-year Covid-19 surveillance programme due to end next year and funded by the EU to the tune of €10 million.

CoVICIS involves researchers in Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, South Africa and Ethiopia. African involvement is essential for the project to fulfil its ambition of evolving into a surveillance platform with a global reach.

Most countries on the African continent lack the infrastructure to monitor infections within their borders. Moreover, much of Africa’s population remains unvaccinated, said Pantaleo, meaning the virus has more opportunity to spread and mutate (a fact that probably explains why several variants, including Omicron, first emerged in Africa).

For good reason then, monitoring the evolution of Covid-19 in Africa is a pressing concern. However, Pantaleo hopes the programme will set the stage for collaborations with an even wider reach.

‘This pandemic has taught us that when it comes to dangerous pathogens we are all connected. We need to establish a new type of research infrastructure so, when it’s time to deal with a new virus, we can quickly mobilise the world’s scientific community and work as one,’ he said.

Identifying risk

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, scientists have been looking for new means to predict how any given person is likely to respond to a Covid-19 infection. The way some experience the virus as a mild cold while others die can seem almost random. Though there’s no doubt that having a comorbidity or an underlying non-diagnosed condition puts a person at higher risk, little is known about why some healthy individuals develop severe Covid-19.

There are two types of at-risk patients the researchers hope to identify: those who are hit hard during the acute phase of illness and those who are saddled with the debilitating symptoms of long-Covid.

‘What we must remember is that for many people, the virus causing Covid does not simply infect the lung cells, cause a few pulmonary problems and then go away,’ said Dr Yvan Devaux, leader of the Cardiovascular Research Unit at the Luxembourg Institute of Health. ‘For a substantial number of people, an infection leads to problems that affect the entire body and persist long-term.’

What has become clear from the work by Devaux and others is that Covid-19 can be bad for your heart.

One study of 160 000 unvaccinated people found that infected patients in the acute phase of their illness are four times more likely than uninfected individuals to develop a major cardiovascular disease – and 40% more likely in the 18 months that follow.

Taken to heart

This is true regardless of age, sex, race or pre-Covid-19 health status and whether an infection is mild or severe. However, the worst cardiovascular outcomes are experienced by Covid-19 patients who end up in intensive care and people with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

In other words, serious infections increase the likelihood of developing heart conditions and pre-existing heart conditions increase the likelihood of dying from Covid-19.

The problem is, cardiovascular disorders have an uncanny ability to remain hidden: a heart attack is often the first sign of an underlying problem. For this reason, finding reliable ways to expose cardiac problems before they become critical has long been a research priority within the EU.

Devaux and his collaborators have been trying to find new tests to diagnose cardiovascular conditions for many years. The pandemic simply spurred them on.

New tests to pre-empt complications

In March 2020 – the same month the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic – the team decided to find a way to identify Covid-19 patients who were most likely to develop heart complications after an initial infection.

‘We had good reason to believe there would be a strong link between Covid infection and coronary heart conditions,’ said Devaux, ‘and we wanted to be part of the international effort to save lives.’

The EU-funded COVIRNA project is devising a test to predict who is most likely to develop cardiovascular complications.

The hope is that an affordable blood test will soon be ready to roll out to hospitalised Covid-19 patients. It will measure a specific type of free-floating RNA molecule that has been linked to cardiovascular disease.

The researchers have collated RNA data from 2 000 study participants and are currently using artificial intelligence to analyse this information and create a reliable tool to predict an individual’s risk.

High-risk patients will then receive personalised care to monitor their health and, if necessary, receive treatment to degrade the troublesome RNA molecules.

‘Patients would get the test a few days into the disease and doctors would then be able to tailor their care – for instance, by sending them for a heart MRI scan when they otherwise wouldn’t have one or by redirecting them to a cardiologist to be watched closely,’ said Devaux.

‘We might not be able to close the last page on Covid quite yet, but this test could be considered a good output of the pandemic.’

Research in this article was funded by the EU. This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine. 

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6 Ways to Effectively Treat Trauma and Take Charge of Your Life

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Experiencing trauma can cause significant harm to an individual’s wellness. It is crucial to find strategies for addressing and handling the emotions and symptoms of events such as severe accidents, physical assault, natural disasters, and mental and emotional traumas. Trauma recovery is a journey that looks different for every individual. However, some strategies can prove helpful in managing symptoms and moving toward healing. Here are six ways to treat trauma:

1.      Engage in Sensory Activities

Sensory activities can help to ground an individual in the present moment and ease symptoms of anxiety or panic associated with trauma. These activities involve engaging the senses through sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch exercises. For example, you can practice deep breathing while focusing on a calming image like a beach scene, listen to soothing music, or incorporate aromatherapy with a calming essential oil like lavender.

Additionally, tactile exercises can promote relaxation. For instance, squeezing a stress ball or kneading playdough can be excellent grounding techniques. Listening to music and engaging in activities involving sound drumming and playing an instrument can also help individuals connect with their bodies and emotions.

2.      Practice Self Compassion

To overcome trauma, be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Treating oneself with kindness, acknowledging and validating one’s emotions, and being as caring towards oneself as towards loved ones fosters self-acceptance and non-judgmental thoughts. Eventually, this helps build resilience and makes it easier to manage symptoms.

3.      Seek Professional Support

An experienced professional can help to identify, process, and manage the emotions associated with trauma. Your clinician might suggest different treatment approaches, like EMDR therapy, CBT, Hypnotherapy, or DBT. These techniques focus on relieving trauma symptoms and helping you cope with trauma aftermath. Additionally, therapy can provide a safe place for an individual to talk about their traumatic experiences and express difficult emotions without judgment.

4.      Join Support Groups

Joining a support group of others who have experienced trauma can be a beneficial tool for treatment. The members provide emotional support and help you process the experience. Such groups can also normalize feelings and help participants reframe their experiences more positively.

Online support communities are available for those who cannot attend in-person support groups. Online forums offer the same benefits as an in-person group but without having to leave one’s home. Support groups are a great way to build resilience and manage trauma symptoms. In a support group setting, you openly express your feelings and experiences to others going through similar struggles without fearing judgment.

5.      Medication

Your doctor may also recommend medications to help manage trauma symptoms. Depending on your condition, medications such as antidepressants, anxiety medicines, or sleeping pills may be prescribed. Medication can be especially helpful if you are having difficulty managing your emotions and daily life after trauma. However, it is important to note that medications should never replace therapy or coping strategies but rather act as a supplement.

6.      Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

To better manage trauma symptoms, it is important to cultivate healthy coping mechanisms. Avoid harmful coping mechanisms like substance abuse, unhealthy eating habits, and self-harm behavior. Instead, prioritize healthy habits like regular exercise, establishing healthy sleep patterns, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and setting goals.

In summary, there is no single solution for treating trauma. The most critical aspect of trauma recovery is finding coping techniques customized to your case and strengthening your resilience. Although it may seem challenging, always hold onto hope and don’t give up. Investing in treatment, practicing patience with oneself, and seeking support from loved ones will undoubtedly lead you toward healing and transformation.

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